The UK Plans to Significantly Reduce Involvement with Huawei

The UK Plans to Significantly Reduce Involvement with Huawei

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to significantly reduce his country's involvement with Huawei.


With Huawei fanning security fears and China dealing with increased global scrutiny over Covid-19, Britain plans to completely remove Huawei from their infrastructure by 2023.

According to The Telegraph, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing domestic pressure to downplay Huawei because of the coronavirus, and isolating them could also ingratiate Britain with U.S. President Donald Trump – especially in the wake of Brexit.    

We’d previously referenced the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre, which concluded in 2019 that Huawei had failed to address the UK’s security concerns. At the time, Huawei was set to play a significant role in Britain’s 5G network, even if the UK’s BT Group refused to do business with the Shenzhen telecom giant.

This quote from a Telegraph source makes it clear that this is as much a political move as a security concern:

“He (Johnson) still wants a relationship with China but the Huawei deal is going to be significantly scaled back. Officials have been instructed to come up with a plan to reduce Huawei’s involvement as quickly as possible.”

Last year, the U.S. issued Huawei 10 indictments for IP theft, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice, and President Trump has done everything possible to marginalize them, including expelling them from all government systems and urging (and in some cases threatening) allies to do the same. Not that the U.S. doesn’t have good reason, of course.

Huawei famously incentivized its employees to steal trade secrets from other companies (including T-Mobile’s phone-testing robot, “Tappy”), and as a result, big names like AT&T, Verizon, and Best Buy, plus France’s Orange (and the BT Group, as previously mentioned), want nothing to do with the Chinese company.

The UK also plans to reduce its reliance on China for medical supplies and other imports from the People’s Republic.